In Westfield, Indiana, if you’re involved in an accident with a commercial truck, your life could change in an instant. Significant injuries and mounting, unexpected expenses can leave you feeling like you’ll drown in a sea of stress.
Where can you turn for help after your truck accident? Do you have any recourse? How can you receive just compensation from reluctant insurance companies?
The good news is, you don’t have to walk this path alone. A Westfield truck accident lawyer can fight your legal battles for you, deal with the insurance companies, and allow you to concentrate on healing.
The legal team at Yosha Law has dealt with many truck accident cases in Indiana and our attorneys are ready to help you with your recovery.
How a Westfield truck accident lawyer can help
The Westfield truck accident lawyers at Yosha Law understand the trauma you might experience in the aftermath of your collision with a large truck. We can take care of your mounting paperwork, calculate the damages you may be owed, and guide you through the legal process of your personal injury claim.
Although we’ll fight for you in court if your case cannot be settled, 95% of personal injury lawsuits are negotiated before a trial is necessary. Insurance companies are eager to settle claims and lawsuits as quickly as possible, but you need an attorney who knows how to battle.
If you chose to retain an attorney, our Westfield truck accident lawyers can:
- Gather evidence:
This includes photographs or video documentation of skid marks, broken guardrails, and other evidence of your truck accident from the scene.
- Guide you through the merits of your case:
Our team will truthfully share our thoughts on whether or not you have a valid case against the at-fault parties in your accident.
- Interview witnesses:
We can contact any eyewitnesses to your accident, along with those who can verify the suffering you’ve experienced in the aftermath, and conduct formal interviews.
Along with eyewitnesses, these witnesses may include your employer, loved ones, vehicle repair shop, and doctors or therapists who have treated you for injuries sustained in your accident.
- Obtain testimony from expert witnesses:
Expert witnesses may include crash reconstructionists, truckers, and other forensic experts.
- File all paperwork:
The insurance and legal paperwork pertaining to your crash is monotonous and time sensitive. Let a Westfield truck accident lawyer take care of this for you.
- Represent you in any negotiations or legal meetings:
Our Westfield truck accident attorneys will handle all negotiations with the insurance companies and represent you in any required meetings. If your case can’t be settled, we will fight for you in court.
Possible damages in a Westfield truck accident
Legally, damages refer to the compensation you may receive to make up for the losses you incur in your truck accident. In 2020, Indiana ranked #9 in states most dangerous for commercial truck drivers and accounted for almost 12% US truck accidents that resulted in life-threatening injuries.
Thus, the chances that you’ll walk away from a Westfield truck accident unscathed are minimal. No amount of money can make up for debilitating injuries or the loss of a loved one, but monetary compensation can give you the support and financial peace of mind you need to get your life in order.
Here are the different types and examples of damages you may be owed.
Economic Damages after a truck accident
Economic damages refer to the quantifiable losses you suffer, and can be calculated based on your past, present, and future bills amassed as a result of your collision.
Examples of economic damages include:
- Medical bills: Any doctor’s appointments, hospital stays, prescriptions, surgical procedures, and medical treatments fall under this category.
- Lost wages: If you’ve missed work or can no longer maintain your work responsibilities, you can claim lost wages. This category includes bonuses, paid time off (PTO), and tips.
- Repair or replacement costs: Any necessary vehicle repairs or replacements due to your accident can be claimed.
- Reduced earning potential: If you can no longer work in your chosen profession, you might claim reduced earning potential.
Non-economic damages after a truck accident
Non-economic damages refer to the traumas you’ve endured that don’t hold a set monetary value. Although the negative impact of your Westfield truck accident may cover every area of your life and cannot be changed, you deserve just compensation.
Some of the non-economic damages you may be owed include:
- Disfigurement or scarring: Examples of disfigurement include injuries that alter your physical appearance.
- Pain and suffering: Any and all emotional, mental, and physical pain you’ve endured is considered pain and suffering. For example, if you experience chronic back pain as a result of your truck accident, this could fall under pain and suffering damages.
- Permanent disability: If you suffer paralysis, loss of limb, or impairments to your hearing or vision, these injuries are considered permanent disabilities. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) or other catastrophic injury might also be included in this category.
- Emotional distress: Severe anxiety, depression, insomnia, or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that have been diagnosed by a psychiatric professional may be considered emotional distress or emotional trauma.
- Loss of quality of life: If the aftermath of your collision leaves you unable to enjoy the activities you filled your life with before the accident, a Westfield truck accident lawyer might be able to help you prove this.
Understanding liability in a truck accident case
A Westfield truck accident can prove to be complex when it comes to attributing fault and proving negligence. Most likely, you’ll most likely have to contend with multiple insurance companies, as the trucker may not be the only at-fault party in your accident. A lawyer can help you determine the claims you should file.
Liability in your Westfield truck accident may fall to one or more of the following parties:
- Truck driver:
If a trucker is an independent contractor, they may have personal insurance coverage for their work hours. However, the trucking company that holds their contract is responsible for their time on the clock.
Thus, both the trucker’s personal insurer and the trucking company’s insurance coverage may be responsible for paying your damages.
- Trucking company:
If a trucking company doesn’t comply with strict trucker driving time mandates or safety regulations and truck maintenance, a Westfield truck accident lawyer could help you file your personal injury claim against the company.
- Truck manufacturer:
If a truck is manufactured with faulty parts or a recall has been issued for specific large trucks, the manufacturer may hold liability. For example, if a truck’s brakes fail and cause your accident, the trucking company and the manufacturer may owe you compensation.
- Cargo company:
Many commercial trucks carry hazardous or flammable material. The cargo company responsible for this material has a duty to ensure its safely contained and stored. If a cargo spill or fire occurs, the cargo company might be liable.
- Westfield government:
Unmaintained road conditions like potholes can also cause truck accidents. If Westfield is in charge of keeping roads in a good condition and has neglected to do so, then the local government may be liable for a truck accident.
- Another driver:
The responsible party in a truck accident could also be a third party. For example, a car driver could speed and crash into a truck, which then creates a domino effect when the truck crashes into your vehicle.
A Westfield truck accident lawyer can help determine liability
In order to calculate the damages you should seek in your personal injury claim and to prove negligence, a Westfield lawyer will focus on specific evidence. Some of the evidence an attorney may use to strengthen your case includes:
- Truck black box data recorder
- Driving logtime records
- Company and truck maintenance and safety inspection records
- A valid Commercial Driver’s License for the trucker
- Consistent insurance coverage for the trucker, cargo company, or trucking company
- Employment, training, and driving records of the trucker
Indiana truck laws to know
In Indiana, there are strict federal regulations in place that determine how much cargo weight a truck can carry (80,000 pounds) and on the amount of non-stop driving time a trucker can spend on the road (11 hours after 10 hours off-duty).
As commercial trucks are responsible for transporting 72% of the nation’s freight and log over 300 billion miles per year, these regulations are imperative for the safety of truckers, other drivers on the road, and the vital cargo trucks carry.
Comparative negligence in Indiana
If you’re over 50% at fault for your collision, a Westfield truck accident lawyer may recommend you do not pursue a personal injury claim. Indiana is one of 13 states with comparative fault (also known as comparative negligence) laws on the books.
Comparative fault states that liability that stands at 50% or greater nullifies your legal claim. If you hold a fault responsibility of over 0%, but less than 50%, your settlement award will reflect that percentage. If you are legally determined to be faultless in your accident, your compensation will not be impacted by this law.
Indiana statute of limitations
The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time allotted to legally file your personal injury claim. Indiana code § 34-11-2-4 allows for two years from the date of your accident.
Although you may not know the future impact of your sustained injuries, a Westfield truck accident lawyer can help you estimate damages for future expenses. It’s vital that you don’t let the statute of limitations expire as you may no longer hold a legal claim to compensation after this occurs.
Contact Yosha Law
After your Westfield truck accident, you may feel overwhelmed, stressed about your mounting expenses, and scared about the long path you face ahead. You shouldn’t have to barter with insurance companies or determine your legal journey on your own.
At Yosha Law, we’ve helped many accident victims fight for the justice they deserve. You’re not just a number when you retain our firm — we care about each client and fight for them as part of our family.
We understand that a truck accident can have instantaneous, devastating consequences for your life. We know the obstacles you can face when dealing with multiple insurance companies. You shouldn’t have to face the aftermath and trauma of your collision alone.
Contact us to schedule an obligation-free consultation with a Westfield truck accident lawyer today.